The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sustainable Future
Blending a desire for comfort and thematic integrity, this Hampton’s beach house is inspired by a profound understanding and appreciation for its unique natural environment.
After 12 years in the history Sullivan Center, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was looking for space that could better accommodate its main gallery and graduate studios. When the new School of the Art Institute of Chicago Galleries opened in 2020, it boasted a significant upgrade over the former facilities. The new four-story, nearly 62,000 square foot space includes 60 graduate studios; three critique spaces; a lounge and flexible work area; a student workshop; and 26,000 square feet over three floors solely dedicated to exhibitions for annual student and faculty shows, as well as special exhibitions featuring national and international artists. With energy-efficient lighting, a brand-new ventilation system, and resurfaced flooring from the building’s 106-year-old floor, the new building is a reflection of SAIC’s mission to create a sustainable future.
One of the primary buildings for artmaking and learning on the School of the Art Institute’s campus, the 280 Building opened in 1976. In 2007, we embarked on a multi-phase 40-year modernization project. The project centered around improvements to the envelope of the building via a new roof and glazing and the mechanical infrastructure, which included new HVAC, upgraded system interface, central air cleaning using a UV filtration system, extensive lighting and electrical upgrades, and even three new energy efficient Blaauw kilns. In total, these improvements led the 280 Building to realize a 38% reduction in energy consumption. The Building has also received a LEED Silver Certification.